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The Company Of Wolves (1984)

DVD Cover (Hen's Tooth Video)
Genres:
Fairy Tales & Legends, Fantasy, Horror, Werewolf Film
Director:
Neil Jordan Neil Jordan
Starring:
Angela Lansbury Angela Lansbury
David Warner David Warner
Graham Crowden Graham Crowden
Brian Glover Brian Glover
Kathryn Pogson Kathryn Pogson

5.8 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Tristan
Added: July 22, 2007
In a dark and macabre interpretation of the classic children's story "Little Red Riding Hood", director Neil Jordan created one of the finest werewolf movies in the decade during which they were at their peak.

This film wastes no time in getting started. Rosaleen's (Sarah Patterson) parents are just returning from God knows where, and her older sister welcomes them home. At the request of their mother, the sister goes upstairs to get Rosaleen out of her room, where she's locked herself in. All her sister's insults and snobby remarks are pointless, as Rosaleen has fallen asleep beside a book called "The Shattered Dream", a sign of the running theme throughout the movie. She is dreaming of her sister being chased and attacked by the various toys and dolls she has in her room. The dream ends with her sister being descended upon by a pack of wolves.

After Rosaleen wakes up, she is attending her sister's funeral. Guess it wasn't really a dream after all. Her grandmother (Angela Lansbury) decides to take her off her parent's hands for the night, and takes her back to her little home in the woods. While knitting her a red shawl, grandmother tells her a story of a woman who married a traveling man. On the night of their wedding day, there was a full moon, and the man went outside for a stroll, and never returned. The bride heard wolves howling throughout the night, and the next morning the search parties turned up nothing. Years pass, she remarries and has children. One night while preparing supper alone, there's a knock at the door. It's her first husband, who returns to insult her, tear off his flesh, and become a werewolf. Not the best of transition scenes, but still pretty decent on a lower budget. Her new husband shows up in the nick of time to lop off the wolf's head and save the day. The moral of the story is to beware of the wolf with hair on the inside, and beware any man who's eyebrows meet.

As grandmother keeps giving Rosaleen more nuggets of wisdom, and her parents become more and more distant due to the recent death of their first child, the story moves along like that of the tale of Little Red Riding Hood. When she is given a red cloak, a food basket, and told to visit her grandmother, you know she's not going to get there without a few snags along the way. It follows the same general story more or less, and does so with great imagery, dialogue and camera work. One of the standout aspects of this film is Jordan's creative genius in telling the entire movie as a dream. However, it's hard to tell at parts if it really is a dream or not. There are several scenes flashing back to Rosaleen sleeping in her room, as the movie began. But the real movie takes place in the fantasy world of Whereverville. The sets and costumes for this film are amazing, and feel very much like a Hammer Horror film as they're low budget, but still look and feel much better than most films today.

7/10
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Chad #1: Chad - added 02/24/2008, 05:30 PM
Jesus, a 7? This movie was downright awful. 2/10, and I'm sort of iffy about going that high.
Crispy #2: Crispy - added 02/24/2008, 05:47 PM
THANK YOU! I couldn't even finish this one.
Chad #3: Chad - added 02/24/2008, 05:49 PM
I have to admit that I gave it a point based solely on that "Do the dogs beat the bitches?" line. Whether it was supposed to be funny or not, I couldn't tell you... but I had to pause it, I was laughing so hard.
Tristan #4: Tristan - added 02/24/2008, 05:54 PM
Really? I thought it was great. I usually HATE werewolf movies, but I thought this one was quite unique, and very enjoyable.
Chad #5: Chad - added 02/24/2008, 06:01 PM
With the exception of the above quote, Angela Lansbury's "He had a pot to piss in!" line, and some of the cinematography during the snow scenes... yeah, really. It was nothing more than "Little Red Riding Hood" meets "Alice in Wonderland", as told by an LSD-addicted feminist. Wretched.
Tristan #6: Tristan - added 02/24/2008, 09:06 PM
I just like how it was an artsy-fartsy interpretation of the story. Plus when I was younger, I used to watch it all the time and fast forward to the part when he turns into the wolf, because it always scared me. So the nostalgia clouded my mind I suppose. I still have it, so maybe I'll watch it again, re-evaluate myself.
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